This film sees its co-writer and producer, Buffy creator Joss Whedon, finally reunited with the horror genre, alongside several of his TV alumni. What could possibly go wrong? Truthfully, I can’t decide if this is absolute genius or absolute garbage. Upon reflection, I’d have to say it’s an equal balance of both.
“You think you know the story. Think again”, teases the trailer. At the time, I didn’t know what they meant. Having seen the film, I know EXACTLY what they mean. Whatever you’re expecting from this film, I absolutely guarantee you that this will not be it. You may jump, you may laugh, you may say “urgh”, you may even guess what the background shenanigans are all about, but you will not expect what this film throws at you.
I entered the screening knowing very little, and almost recommend you do the same, should you choose to see it. But my biggest fault is that I didn’t have a clue what the hell was going on, right up until the final act. It’s designed that way, but I found it alienating. The jumps come as thick and fast as the jokes- but I never felt truly scared nor amused.
This film is admirably bodacious, irreverent, and ambitious. It will, without question, generate legions of fans in years to come, if not on immediate release. At this moment in time, I do not count myself amongst them- but that may change. I have to give them their fair dues for thinking so far out of the box.
I’m curious as to whether it’ll work better second time around, or whether or not to even tell you what it’s about, so you’re not frowning at the screen as I was. Alfred Hitchcock said it best, an audience confused is not an audience entertained. Although make no mistake- the final act of this film redefines entertaining. This makes Drag Me To Hell look like an episode of Downton Abbey.
What I will say is be warned. Forget Buffy & Angel. This is very gory and features all sorts of horror staples. Literally.